PANDAS/PANS and Tourette Syndrome (Disorder)

Authors: Tourette Association of America PANDAS/ PANS Workgroup Background: In recent years, there has been much attention—both in the medical literature and in the mainstream media—to the hypothesis that some tic and neuropsychiatric disorders may be triggered by an underlying autoimmune or autoinflammatory response, collectively referred to either as PANDAS (“Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections”) or PANS (“Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome”).  While these proposed conditions are of scientific interest, they have generated significant confusion amongst medical providers, families, and patients alike, as the diagnostic criteria have evolved over time, and are often conflated or misapplied.  Here, we briefly summarize the current research landscape on PANS/PANDAS and Tourette Syndrome (TS). Tourette Syndrome (TS; also known as Tourette’s Disorder) is defined by the presence of multiple motor and one or more vocal tics that have persisted, though not necessarily concurrently, for more than a year with onset in individuals less than 18 years of age.  The diagnosis is made on clinical grounds based on the description and appearance of tics.  TS is highly co-occurring with a number of other neuropsychiatric conditions, including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, Impulse Control Disorders, and … Continue reading PANDAS/PANS and Tourette Syndrome (Disorder)